Even though they now have a new private access road near Papa Jolly’s on the main road, I still quite liked driving down the winding road through the village to Marbela Beach Boutique Resort.
The whole run-up to this luxurious hotel on Morjim beach is deceptive – tiny little lanes, children playing about, cattle hugging a spot of shade at the edge of the field and the unassuming compound wall.
Even the reception area is a no-frills spot – after all the friendly staff ensures you have the key to your room in no time, a refreshing drink on arrival as your bags are taken in. The real surprises are past the reception, where the boutique hotel now spills out into expansive lawns, a sprawling Spanish Villa, Ocean View Suites and Luxury Tents all with picture-postcard views.
My friend and I couldn’t wait to get our feet all sandy, but it took a little while longer as we checked out the room.
Our Luxury Tent was just as deceptive from the outside – white cosy-looking accommodation with bucket seats and loungers on the porch. Inside, the en-suite bathroom with decorative pebbles, inviting bed with oh-so-soft pillows, and thoughtfully stocked mini-bar and fruit platter were so much more than what we’d expected.
Jaydeep and Sheetal Rajebhosale, the courteous and warm couple who own the resort, took us on a little tour of the pristine property. We had a sumptuous Mediterranean lunch together on the Wooden Deck. Plain as the name may be, the view it frames is spectacular, with the adjoining VIP Lounge offering an unobstructed vista of the blue Arabian as far as the eye can see.
Elite guests like Bollywood stars Hrithik Roshan and Bipasha Basu take their spots on the Champagne Terrace Lounge when they’re in town – an exclusive dining area and lounge with bottles of bubbly, a tantalising panorama of virgin beach and private reflexology treatments thrown in.
We took a walk to the water’s edge a little later and that’s when you see a whole new perspective of Marbela Beach Boutique Resort.
Lavish canopy beach beds, chic tents, lounge beds, square bar and DJ’s nest, sofas and large umbrellas, all in virginal white sit pretty on the sand, cradling a thatch-roof restaurant and patch of verdant lawn. And there by a corner is the latest addition to the Marbela family – Marbela Music, a glass-encased sound-proof club, which is possibly the most unique party venue in Goa.
Jaydeep explained his dreams of moonlight dancing on the shimmering water, ears filled with the sound of groovy mixes. It has come alive in his creation of Marbela Music.
Interestingly, as I sat getting a reflexology right there on the beach by one of Marbela Spa’s expert masseuses, I found out that I just might have a pretty hectic party schedule coming up. And it all kicks off tomorrow with the Marbela Beach White Party. It’s the grand seasonal opening of the resort.
The Rajebhosales have also planned a music festival later this month, with DJs from across the world flying in to pump up the volume this side of town.
Big names like Ashley Beedle of X-Press 2 fame will play alongside DJs LeMi and Climate, with several top notch ones staying a secret until the festival opens. But the most awaited party at Goa’s biggest playground this season will be on New Year’s Eve, enhanced by a large-scale performance using computers and a fusion of drums.
I was starting to get excited now, and my friend thought it better that we do the rounds of some classic wood-fired pizza to enjoy the sunset. There’s a great variety to choose from though, including Continental, Pan-Asian, tandoor and lavish salads, with multicultural and multi-lingual staff from Italy, Moscow, Brazil, the UK, Bulgaria and different parts of India on hand to help you.
For couples looking to spend a quiet evening together, Marbela’s Tepee Tents, canopies custom-built by Jaydeep, make the perfect hideaway. Soft billowing swathes of cloth and six-foot square beds looking out to the blushing sun as dolphins frolic across the horizon make memorable moments with loved ones.
My friend and I chose to sit on the beach lounge, balsamic and pepperoni pizzas at hand. Don’t tell her, but the couple beds made me wish I’d dragged the boyfriend along instead!
As day turns to night, Marbela swings into action – drinks taste so much better at the Floating Bar where quick cocktails and beer brands from around the world are served out of a beached canoe.
However, the flair bartending at the main bar with staff Diego and Panela Bothello from Brazil and Bulgarian chef Silvia’s tasty morsels at the Sushi bar are tough competition.
Don’t be surprised to find solo trapeze acts, pole dancing, fire performances or belly dancing during your evening out at Marbela. It’s all part of the experience.
A relaxing morning walk along Morjim beach is the perfect way to begin that day-after-the-party. The gentle waves and soft sand draw you on and only a short walk away, you will chance upon Turtle Bay and the sublime Marbela Homes – a luxurious villa that embodies your home on vacation.
Truly, Marbela is one surprise following the other – I can’t wait for more. Starting tomorrow at the Grand Opening White Party!